The Five-Year Brownlow 2023 Edition

For whatever reason, it is still hailed as the highest individual award in the game. The Brownlow Medal carries prestige that other awards – the Leigh Matthews Trophy and the Coaches’ Association Champion Player of the Year simply don’t possess.

One gets prime time on a major network. The others are awarded as part of Fox Footy’s coverage. And this one gets a run on our website in the off-season. Haha.

To win a Brownlow sets you apart from your peers as THE player of the year, and with Lachie Neale joining former teammate, Nat Fyfe, and 14 others as multiple winners, he has well and truly established himself as an all-time great. He has had two monster years in 2020 and again this season to walk away with the award.

But how have players fared over the journey?

We see some players poll well every year, hovering around the top ten and leading their club’s votes, but who is the best performed Brownlow player of the past five years?

2018 has now been removed from our annual five-year count, which means Tom Mitchell’s win is struck from the record. Bearing in mind he missed the entirety of the 2019 season with a broken leg, I expect him to fall drastically.

Also due to fall are the combination of Dustin Martin and Patrick Dangerfield, who have hovered around the top of the list since we commenced this back in 2020.

So, let’s jump in.


20 – TOBY GREENE (53 Votes)

One of just two forwards to make the cut, Greene’s strong 2023 season (20 votes) was enough to propel him into the top 20.


19 – JEREMY CAMERON (54 Votes)

His 2019 was strong and balances out his poor 2020/21 seasons (a combined nine votes)


18 – TOUK MILLER (55 Votes)

A quiet 2023 due to injury saw Miller’s charge over 2021/22 slowed.


17 – TOM MITCHELL (56 Votes)

Missed the entirety of the 2019 season, meaning he has only four years of totals to work with. 2021 remains his strongest season in this five-year span.


E15 – TIM KELLY (59 Votes)

Worked hard in 2023, but the Eagles’ poor season saw him receive nowhere near the votes his performance warranted. Weak 2022 (three votes) hurts his overall totals.


E15 – DUSTIN MARTIN (59 Votes)

Just ten votes over the past two seasons, and it is looking as though he may drop out all together next year, given he has 23 votes in 2019 that will be removed after the 2024 season.


14 – JACK MACRAE (62 Votes)

Received no votes in 2023. Yep – zero. His move out of the guts didn’t really aid him at all, did it?


13 – SAM WALSH (63 Votes)

Managed just five votes in 2023, with almost half of his totals coming during his brilliant 2021 season (30 votes). Needs a big one in 2024.


E11 – MAX GAWN (65 Votes)

A quieter year for Big Max, with injury slowing him early on, before he started hitting his straps late as the standalone ruck.


E11 – OLLIE WINES (65 Votes)

No votes at all in 2023. Wines has really fallen in terms of his status in the league. A very different player than the one that surged to the 2021 Brownlow. 31 of his 65 votes came that season.



Polled well in 2023 (12 votes) at a time when his team was struggling. Retains that powerful burst from stoppages that never fails to catch the eye. 27 votes will fall off the total after 2024, so possibly his last dance in the top twenty.


9 – TRAVIS BOAK (72 Votes)

The third player on the list to score doughnuts in 2023. Probably indicative of the way he was used this year as he sits at the tail end of a brilliant career.


8 – LUKE PARKER (74 Votes)

Has scored 10+ votes in each of the five seasons we’re covering, and continues to be one of the most underrated players the game has seen. A workhorse and now the elder statesman of the Swans’ midfield.


7 – JACK STEELE (76 Votes)

May well leap further up the list in 2024, as he scored just one vote in 2019, so that is all that will fall off this time next year. Solid, if unspectacular.


6 – ZACH MERRETT (83 Votes)

Another strong season – if all Essendon players worked as hard as Merrett, they’d be in great shape. 13 votes (2020) is his lowest total in the five-year span.


5 – CLAYTON OLIVER (88 Votes)

Seemed destined to surge toward the top after 31 votes in 2021 and 25 in 2022, but a range of issues saw him poll just six votes in 2023. Still, will only drop 12 votes (his 2019 total) in 2024 – will be around the top for a while.


4 – PATRICK CRIPPS (92 Votes)

I was shocked he got 22 votes this season – I genuinely thought he was solid without being spectacular in 2023. Anyway, he has a poor 2021 season (five votes) right in the middle of some pretty impressive years.



Very unlucky not to have a Brownlow around his neck at this stage, with massive 2021/23 seasons under his belt. Will drop 22 votes next year from his 2019 run, so will need another solid season in 2024 to maintain his top-three spot.




Here are his last five Brownlow scores. 2019 )20 votes), 2020 (20 votes), 2021 (23 votes), 2022 (24 votes), 2023 (26 votes). Just a brilliant run from the Demon champ. In two of the other years we’ve compiled this, his score of 113 wins.


1 – LACHIE NEALE (124 Votes)

He has this weird eight-vote performance in 2021 sitting right in the middle of some monster seasons, but with two Brownlows to his name and no signs of slowing down, there was no way Neale was going to be displaced after winning the bloody thing this year, was there?

Plenty of conjecture about his 2023 victory, but he has been up the pointy end for so long that he has earned every accolade he receives. Back-to-back five-year Brownlow winner, and it’ll take something special for someone to displace him and prevent him grabbing a three-peat.


All 5YB Winners



POST 2021 – DUSTIN MARTIN (104 votes)

POST 2022 – LACHIE NEALE (104 votes))

POST 2023 – LACHIE NEALE (124 votes)



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